Sasikarn On-iam: the consumate, consistent Cyclone


Senior Sasikarn On-iam follows through with a shot at practice.

Mike Randleman

Her words, like her game, are economical. Just like her scorecards are filled with birdies and pars, her actions carry equally important value.

Sasikarn On-iam, affectionately referred to as “Sas” by teammates and coaches, may not be the loudest of the bunch, but her unbridled positivity and consistent performance have been beacons of leadership for the ISU women’s golf team.

“She’s really level-headed in everything; not too up, not too down,” said ISU coach Christie Martens of the senior from Bangkok. “She’s really just someone [the team] can go to that they know is always going to be that steadfast ‘OK, you’re going to get through this,’ type of person.”

Though On-iam describes herself as more of a quieter type, when she does have something to say, others listen.

“She does a good job always reminding the team what to do,” said fellow senior and Bangkok native Prima Thammaraks. “If we have to do stats or bring something to practice that we usually don’t have to, she would text us at night and be like ‘Hey, remember to bring this,’ so she’s always on top of things and we can always count on her to help out with anything.”

For a sport like golf that can be so infuriating, even for those playing at its highest levels, finding positivity can be a struggle. For the Cyclones, On-iam is one source for teammates to look to for encouragement.

“I want to be able to pump myself up when something goes wrong, when a bad shot happens,” On-iam said. “I still want to refocus as fast as I can and also encourage my teammates when I see them being down on the golf course.”

Complimenting her leadership from an emotional standpoint, On-iam’s play has also been essential to Iowa State’s success throughout her career.

In her four years with the Cyclones, On-iam has played in 109 of 118 possible rounds and earned All-Big 12 honors in her freshman year.

This season, On-iam has been one of Iowa State’s three leading scorers in all six tournaments. Averaging 73.14 strokes per round, more than one and a half strokes lower than in her freshman season, she co-leads the team in scoring average and is the only player to finish on the upper half of the leaderboard in every tournament.

“She’s super consistent. She really has a level head,” Martens said. “Her iron play is really, really strong. I’d say those are her two biggest strengths.”

That consistency has led to dozens of top-25 finishes in her career, but has not yielded a finish higher than fourth-place.

In her first six tournaments this season she finished inside the top-25 four times, but failed to crack the top-10.

She began to crack the rock, but could not break it.

At last, at the Hurricane Invitational on March 5 in Miami, Fla., the rock finally broke.

On-iam took home co-medalist honors, a feat last achieved for Iowa State a half-dozen years ago.

In a season where she had yet to even post the best score of the team in a tournament, On-iam topped or matched all 95 players in the field before losing a sudden-death playoff.

“I honestly am not really looking at the individual much,” On-iam said post-round. “Of course I’m happy and proud about tying for first in the individual, but the priority is more with the team.”

When many would have soaked in the moment, On-iam insisted on focusing on the team, reflecting on her pleasure to see her team bounce back from a tough tournament the week before in Puerto Rico.

As her college career winds down and the tournaments become numbered, On-iam, now a top-100 golfer in the Golfweek rankings (No. 75 as of March 6), remains undecided on a potential professional career in golf.

For now, she is content to enjoy the final stages of her career as a Cyclone while she still can.

“It’s kind of sad. I’m ready to be done with school, but I’m sad that I’m going to be done with golf and with my teammates,” On-iam said. “It’s really sad, but I’m really pumped for this semester.”